McAvoy Group’s BIM journey to become market leaders

McAvoy Group’s BIM journey to become market leaders

An interview with McAvoy’s Design Manager about BIM certification with BRE and the benefits for the business and its clients.

The first offsite modular firm to secure a BIM Level 2 certification, McAvoy’s Design Manager David Clark explains how the BRE Global BIM Business Systems Certification  reinforces their position as a leading provider of construction services within the education, health, leisure/accommodation and commercial/infrastructure sectors.

1. How long have you been using BIM in your projects and what have been the main challenges so far?

The McAvoy Group has been utilising BIM authoring tools from as far back as 2007, when we first introduced ArchiCAD as the primary CAD Software for the architectural design of our buildings. But it is since 2012 that our skill and experience with BIM has really developed rapidly: further software solutions such as Tekla Structures (Now Trimble Structures) and Miitek Woodengine were added to our software design suite, to ensure that the steelwork and timber framing elements were fully encapsulated within the overall BIM workflow and processes. This provides each project with a full BIM lifecycle for the design process, from conception to construction.

The main challenge with BIM has been  its slow uptake by the construction sector as a whole. There was a considerable period during the BIM implementation within McAvoy’s when we  found it difficult to find supply chain partners who possessed the same BIM vision and drive to provide this level of service to the industry.

2. BIM Level 2 is government-driven, but are you embracing BIM as a business opportunity?

The McAvoy Group’s BIM journey has not necessarily been driven by a market need, but rather by our vision to be market leaders with the skills and expertise to deliver better and more efficient design through improved BIM workflows. This would ultimately be delivered through best practice collaboration with a like-minded BIM-capable supply chain. The introduction of the UK Government’s mandate for BIM Level 2, on centrally procured projects by April 2016, was certainly a welcome move; whilst it has urged the construction industry to meet this challenge and deadline, it was The McAvoy Group’s innovation culture and the drive amongst our senior management that was the leading factor behind our business BIM implementation.

3. Why have you sought BIM certification?

Following a formal gap analysis audit, undertaken through an external consultancy at the start of 2015, we identified the McAvoy Group’s position in relation to the Governments BIM Level 2 required deliverables. This led us to set the achievement of BIM certification as a key company objective. At this time, it was understood exactly where we needed to focus our efforts to ensure that we would fully meet with the BIM Level 2 requirements.

4. What has BRE Global certified?

BRE has provided certification to confirm that the McAvoy Group, acting in the role of ‘lead supplier’ within the construction industry, are capable of providing a range of BIM services including:


  • 2D Drafting
  • 3D Modelling
  • 4D Time
  • 5D Cost
  • Visualisation
  • IFC Generation
  • COBie
  • Clash Detection
  • Common Data Environment
  • Project Information Management
  • Design Analysis
  • Energy Assessment
  • Project Delivery Management


5. What was the approach to certification and how did you find the process?

From the very start, BRE Global communicated the overall process and requirements to the McAvoy Group. This meant that we were able to see clearly the path towards the end goal – which we successfully achieved by receiving our certification in advance of the Government’s 4th April 2016 target.

6. In what way was the process especially valuable, for example, what did you learn from it?

The McAvoy Group has learnt that BIM is about the process of how we deliver our projects; it is about a better way to provide efficient designs to our clients, collaborating through best practice methods – thus driving out inaccuracies which would otherwise cause unexpected delay or costs being incurred.

7. Has the certification process helped with integrating BIM into your business?

Over that last six months the interaction with BRE has assisted the McAvoy Group to focus on the key areas in relation to BIM as a process; in particular the skills required to deliver robust BIM services to our customers, all in compliance with the Governments PAS 1192 documentation.

8. What other benefits do you see from being certified?

We would see the key benefit of having the BRE Global BIM Level 2 business certification being  the provision of independent verification that the McAvoy Group has the capabilities to truly deliver BIM to our clients and customers. We see that, as BIM is becoming an increasingly talked about project deliverable, there are a lot of self-professed ‘BIM Experts’ claiming  to be delivering BIM in compliance with required standards and documentation, whilst perhaps actually falling short of this in some key areas. This is why the McAvoy Group sought to remove any doubt, by way of independent certification against the Government’s mandated requirements.

9. How have your existing clients responded to your certification and do you see it as an important aspect of winning new work?

We have so far received very positive responses and we strongly believe that our clients will be reassured to know that our business has the necessary knowledge and expertise to successfully deliver a full BIM Level 2 project.

10. Would you recommend certification through BRE Global?

Yes, the whole process was well managed and allowed for a clear dialogue throughout the initial assessment, carried out to identify the suitability of the McAvoy Group’s operating procedures, documentation, experience, and BIM processes to align with the PAS 11992:2 guidance documentation. Through a clear and concise pre-assessment process and a well-structured on-site audit, the BRE Group conducted the entire certification process in a highly diligent and professional manner: The McAvoy Group would have no hesitation in recommending this route to certification.

About the McAvoy Group

The McAvoy Group has been a pioneer within the UK’s offsite modular construction industry for more than four decades. For many years it has recognised the link between process innovation and the delivery of quality improvement through to cost reduction. A demonstrable ability to meet these requirements coupled with a reputation for being agile and highly responsive has brought significant benefits for the company in the last four years. Its unique approach has helped it establish itself as a Principal Contractor with a difference. At the heart of this approach is the recognition that collaboration and knowledge-sharing are essential and require input from all levels of the supply chain right from the earliest stage. Its supply chain management system ensures it has a tried and trusted supply chain underpinned by the commitment to the adoption of an open BIM approach.

The team works closely and diligently with clients to realise pioneering projects that span numerous industries under different frameworks – from education to health, infrastructure to sport and leisure and commercial. Furthermore, McAvoy regards early engagement as vital to ensure that clients, technical advisers, planners, engineers and architects work together from day one as part of a cohesive professional team.

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